Hackensack Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Social Media Threats Directed at School, Judge
A 19-year-old man from Hackensack (Bergen County) pleaded guilty on April 13 to threatening violence against a school and conspiring to send a bomb to the house of a county judge. John Coulouris (right) admitted making social media postings threatening to kill everyone at Livingston (Essex County) High School on two occasions in September 2016. He used fake accounts, including one under the name of his ex-girlfriend’s mother, to make the threats. “This defendant, like many others, believed he could cover his tracks and act anonymously using the Internet to wreak havoc on the public,” Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph A. Giordano said. Coulouris was also part of a “hacking collective” planning to send a bomb to an Essex County judge’s residence, and he admitted making multiple social media posts under the names of his ex-girlfriend, her mother, and a Livingston police detective. In addition to those offenses, Coulouris posted a nude photograph of his ex-girlfriend online and offered money to kill her mother. He will serve his sentence at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
Three Kansas Men Convicted in Bomb Plot Targeting Somali Immigrants
Three Kansas men were convicted April 18 of planning to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, where Somali immigrants live and worship. A federal jury found Curtis Allen, 50; Gavin Wright, 50; and Patrick Stein, 49, guilty of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring to violate the civil housing rights of others. Wright was also found guilty of lying to the FBI. Prosecutors argued during the four-week trial that the men, who called themselves “The Crusaders” and were part of a militia group called Kansas Security Force, planned to blow up the complex on November 9, 2016—the day after Election Day. Jurors heard recordings and witness testimony that included the men making anti-Muslim comments and plotting the attack. Defense attorneys claimed their clients were naïve and simply engaged in idle chatter. The defense further argued that the FBI encouraged Allen, Wright, and Stein to pursue the bombing. The men face up to life in prison and are scheduled for sentencing on June 27.
ATF Confident Explosives Stolen From Pennsylvania Pipeline Work Site Have Been Recovered
Approximately 350 pounds of explosives stolen from a pipeline work site in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, were found on April 20, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Law enforcement officials acted on a tip from an individual who noticed the explosives while walking on a trail in a park near the pipeline site. Investigators recovered 320 cartridges of dynamite weighing about 352 pounds and 404 blasting caps. A general contracting company originally reported double the amount of dynamite missing on April 16; however, the ATF believes that number was an error and that all material has been recovered. The theft was discovered when workers noticed an open door and missing locks on a truck trailer where the materials were stored. A $20,000 reward is still being offered by the ATF for information leading to the identification and/or arrest and conviction of those responsible as authorities continue to search for a suspect. Theft and possession of stolen explosives is a federal crime with a possible prison sentence of up to 10 years.